Families across the country are now wrestling with the question: What should we get for dad this Father’s Day? Sure, you can buy dad a gift that will quickly fade away, e.g., the clichéd bad tie, but why not get him a gift that will endure?
As a dad of five, I can tell you that the best and most meaningful gifts I’ve ever gotten from my kids weren’t bought in a store, they were given from the heart.
So here are 5 meaningful Father’s Day gift ideas:
1. The gift of respect.
You and he both know he’s not perfect, but every man wants to have the respect of his children. Make a Top 10 list of why you respect him. You could share how you respect his judgment and decisions. Or, you might tell him how you respect his abilities. You may want to make a list of some of his major accomplishments or life events. If you struggle with respecting your dad, compose a note that zeroes in on something specific you can respect about him such as Dad, I really respect how you treat people who are unkind to you. That’s taught me a lot about how to handle difficult circumstances. And remember, respect for your dad does not have to be earned by him, it should be freely given because of his position as your father.
You and he both know he’s not perfect, but every man wants to have the respect of his children.
2. The gift of trust.
Dads are grateful to know that their counsel is trusted and wanted, especially as their kids get older. Trusting his advice doesn’t have to mean you always agree with him or even follow it. However, let him know how you’ve appreciated some specific advice he gave. Ask him if he would let you record on video some of his best advice on life, family, leadership, and faith. Then share the finished product with him on Father’s Day.
3. The gift of significance.
Often dads work so hard, but they sometimes don’t feel like what they do is that important. And he wants to feel like he is doing well in his most important job–being a dad. So this year, sit down as a family and put together a list of all the ways dad makes a difference in the life of your family. Maybe also collect some short personal stories from friends and family that demonstrate the impact he’s made on them. Then put them all together into a short self-published book. (There are many online options for creating a special keepsake book with photos: Tiny Prints, Shutterfly, Snapfish, Minted, and iPhoto are just a few options.)
4. The gift of time.
Dads get busy, too. Intuitively, most dads know that time with the family is important, but knowing that the family wants to be with him is a big deal to him. So present dad a jar with seven homemade coupons inside for seven things that you want to do with him over the next seven weeks of summer.
5. The gift of admiration.
Dads are often their worst critics, so knowing specifically what his family admires about him will boost his confidence and inspire him. He wants to be your hero! As a family, put together a list of single words that describe the best qualities he has. Then find a word cloud website like Wordle or WordItOut and make your very own, frame worthy word cloud for him to use for inspiration. You could also use your smartphone and do a short video about how you admire your father. I remember one year my children put together a short video with each of them sharing what they admired about me. Wow! It was a gift I’ll never forget.
Whether you use these specific ideas or you weave these messages into your own creative gift ideas, phone calls, videos, text messages, or other communications, you can be assured that he will be blessed and inspired.
Bonus Gift: From me to you or the dad in your life, download the first chapter of my book All Pro Dad: Seven Essentials to Be a Hero to Your Kids.
What other creative Father’s Day gift ideas do you have? Please share in a comment below.